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US - English 11 - The Great Gatsby (Bonner)2018/19: Assignment



Compose a research paper that integrates The Great Gatsby with historical research. The focus of your paper should explore how/why The Great Gatsby is a social commentary of the 1920’s.


To what extent is The Great Gatsby a social commentary of the 1920’s?  

To help with this prompt, you will select one of the following two categories to research with a focus on three sub-topics to ultimately prove your thesis.


Category 1: Economic and Social Impact

Category 2: Cultural Impact

  • Immigration
  • The American Dream
  • Women’s Rights
  • Racism and the resurgence of the KKK
  • Economic Divide between Upper and Lower class
  • Prohibition and Bootlegging
  • Organized Crime
  • Transportation technology (cars, trains, boats, planes, etc)
  • Women’s fashion
    • ​flappers
  • Athletics 
    • 1919 World Series
  • Cultural Icons
    • actors, athletes, politicians
  • Artistic Icons 
    • musicians, authors, poets, playwrights
  • Entertainment 
    • music, pop culture, moving pictures

What is Literary Criticism?

Literary criticism is the evaluation, analysis, description, or interpretation of literary works. There are many types of literary criticism: some examples include historical criticism (understanding of the time period in which the novel is set) and biographical criticism (explains how the novel is based on the life of the author along with events that mirror Fitzgerald's life). Character studies involve the in-depth analysis of the characters in the novel. Please note that Literary criticism is NOT necessarily negative---criticism involves looking at both the positive and negative qualities. 

(Sources: Internet Public Library & St. Mark's School of Texas)